TEACHERS from East Lancashire have attacked Education Secretary David Blunkett for blaming them over schools which continue to fall below accepted standards.

Mr Blunkett has announced that the worst 68 schools in the country, all of which persistenly fail to make improvements, will be closed unless there is a rapid upturn in fortunes.

None of those schools is in East Lancashire - but that has not stopped local members of the NASUWT union launching a scathing attack on Mr Blunkett.

Secretary Andrew Jones said: "We deplore the government's determination to persist in broadcasting its perverse view that school failure is entirely down to the head and teaching staff, regardless of the circumstances.

"If poverty is no excuse for low expectations, it should be no justification for disruptive behaviour which blights so many failing schools.

He added: "I can only warn teachers who apply for jobs in challenging schools to do so with their eyes wide open.

"Their work will be constantly monitored and inspected, particularly in local education authorities with education action zones and beacon status, such as Blackburn with Darwen.

"They will be blamed by the government if they do not produce miracles.

"They should also appreciate that they will have one hand tied behind their backs in dealing with serious disruption and violence by the government's recent measures making it very difficult to exclude pupils behaving in such a fashion."

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